From the Archives Blog Series

As well as ~60 oil paintings, hundreds of ceramics, and over 500 drawings, the De Morgan Foundation has in its collection a fairly substantial archive. It is a varied and fascinating collection of primary sources (including material from Evelyn De Morgan, John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, Sophia De Morgan, William De Morgan and A.M.W. Stirling). There is also a range of additional, miscellaneous material, such as photographs, cartes des visite, family legal documents, and contemporary reviews. This material provides invaluable contextual information for the collections.


Documents and objects from our archive featured in our 2013 exhibition about Old Battersea House

We have numerous archive visitors every year, and students and academics conducting research here have gone on to complete dissertations and articles covering a range of topics including Iznik pottery, William De Morgan's novels, and 19th Century artistic couples. We have a team of dedicated volunteers who are working hard to complete a comprehensive catalogue of our archive, increasing accessibility to this valuable resource.

To say that our archive is a mixed bag is an understatement. There is a wealth of information on the formation of the Foundation. We have personal journals and correspondence of Mrs Wilhemina Stirling, Evelyn De Morgan’s younger sister, who formed the collection. We also have a collection of what we call ‘miscellanea’, including doll’s clothes, jewellery, and even curtain pelmets! It may not all seem directly related to the collection, but all together, our archive tells the story of the De Morgan Foundation, our origins, our work, and the amazing objects we have here.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be running a blog series introducing a few of the more curious objects in our collection. Stay tuned!


Emma Coleman, Museum Officer


From The Archives: William De Morgan, Creature Creator

From The Archives: Evelyn De Morgan, Water Pilferer

From The Archives: A cure for the gout, or your new favourite cocktail?

From The Archives: Cross-writing - may cause crossed eyes

From The Archives: Artistic talent runs in the family

From The Archives: An Expedition by Boat from Kelmscott House to Kelmscott Manor